TSU, with Maastricht University (the Netherlands), has developed a program of the international baccalaureate Tomsk International Science Program (TISP), in which the emphasis is placed on the intensive study of physics, chemistry, neuroscience, ecology, and biomaterials. The educational project, designed to form the knowledge and competencies most demanded in the next 10-20 years, will be implemented at the StrAU Institute of Smart Materials and Technologies.
- There are no such projects in Russian universities yet, but our partner, Maastricht University, has experience in deep problem-oriented learning. It launched a similar program that is among the first in the world, - says Olga Maslennikova, director of the Centre for Joint Educational Programmes at TSU. - Students will be taught only in English, so the requirements for knowledge of it are very high.
The TISP program is based on problem-project training, which helps not only to quickly acquire new knowledge but also effectively develops soft skills - creative thinking and teamwork, the ability to listen, speak, and agree, the courage to make decisions and take responsibility for the result. It is these skills that largely determine a person’s competitiveness in any professional environment. Every year they are becoming more and more in demand, as holders of soft skills are able to learn throughout their lives, constantly increasing their competencies, which gives them the opportunity to go beyond the boundaries of their profession and work at the junction of different areas.
- The TISP program is developed in the area of natural sciences and innovation and includes five major tracks - Bio-based materials, Ecology, Neuroscience, Physics, and Chemistry, - explains Irina Kurzina, Director of the Institute Smart Materials and Technologies. - Along with this, there will be educational modules devoted to history, applied statistics, data analysis, the development of new research methods, and the use of computer-aided design systems.
After the first year, students will be able to determine their own learning path - choose the main track for themselves with the main and related educational modules, and decide what knowledge they want to acquire through online courses. At the same time, students will be assisted by tutors from TSU who have been trained at Maastricht University.
Within each module, several lectures will be delivered by leading experts from Russian and international universities. For example, Terry V. Callaghan, Distinguished Research Professor and Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; Professor of Arctic Ecology, University of Sheffield, UK; Professor of Botany, Tomsk State University; Coordinator of the INTERACT Network of Arctic Terrestrial Research Stations; Honorary Doctor of Tomsk State University and University of Sheffield; and joint recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Lectures on physics and biomedicine will be given by Herman Kingma, professor at the TSU Faculty of Physics and Maastricht University.
The main focus is on independent and team work, which is a good incentive to learn,- says Olga Maslennikova. - International groups of 10-12 students will determine the problem themselves, analyze it, and at the same time acquire new knowledge of the discipline, find solutions, and present the results.
TISP students will have the opportunity to complete part of their studies at Maastricht University or other universities under the academic mobility programs. The internship is planned with globally-oriented companies with which the university collaborates in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities.
It is planned that graduates of TISP will receive a double diploma, which will significantly expand their employment opportunities in any country in the world.